April 16, 2014
A couple of weeks ago I argued against certain individuals from the opposition and civil society hallucinating at will about the possible rigging of the coming elections at every turn but sadly without any single iota of evidence.
My take was that it is not in the interest of the May 20 elections in particular and this country in general for these individuals to be crying wolf about rigging every day without evidence as they hopelessly sound petty as mere empty tins hell-bent on making useless noise just to attract attention to themselves and possibly get some funding from gullible donors.
I said that the issue to me should have been taking MEC to task on why they embarrassed the country by borrowing lamps and tents from Zimbabwe when it should be buying them other than worrying that the exercise to offload some lamps from that country delayed and then link that to rigging. I thought that this is madness that this country does not need.
But an avid reader of this column, who does not want to be identified for obvious reasons, in reaction to that piece, thought he has some evidence about active vote rigging plot taking place throughout the country and wrote to me about it. In fact, he asked me to do something about it. Here it goes:
If you took time to register , MEC captured your details on their database and then printed the card for your safe keeping. This is the ONLY document that qualifies you to vote come May 20.
Now MEC has “miraculously” pasted my name on your photo! Will you vote? How will you verify your photo via SMS? Remember not everybody owns a phone, let alone a smart phone to see their face.
After all, the other tricks that may be employed have been stopped, messing up the voters’ roll is the single most effective trick! Wrong ID number, missing photo, no vote, and MEC says the roll is not ready for inspection! [In fairness to MEC, it later opened the voters’ roll for inspection after rectifying the anomalies they discovered earlier]
This means MEC is not ready to conduct the poll, NOT at the moment.
Remember the stolen external drive? MEC claimed it couldn’t contain all the data! We don’t know its capacity, but even one GB stores a lot of data.
More critically, the lost and found drive gave someone access to MEC’s database. Besides, MEC did not deny the fact that the drive contained the voters’ register.
In case you forgot, Uncle Bob [President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe] made sure the voters’ roll was messed up and MEC has done the same.
GK, do “the opposition” a favour, go to Mchinji and find out what happened to the self-confessed voter registration card buyers.
My comment: These technical hitches will always affect the elections and the May 20 one is no exception. There is no excuse MEC must do its job competently. Anything short of this is not acceptable.
But do the technical hitches really put Party X at an advantage against Party Y? I still insist that elections can be rigged but those who have seen hard evidence on rigging can do the country a lot of favour if they bring hard evidence.
Useless hallucinations will not help this country, I insist.